Tuesday, June 30, 2009
The building was constructed on the last remaining green space in the city center, so the architects, Emilio Ambasz & Associates, created a design to preserve the green space as much as possible, while still fitting in a large office building. In addition, a green roof reduces the energy consumption of a building, because it keeps the temperature inside more constant and comfortable. Green roofs also capture rainwater runoff, and support the life of insects and birds.
The building is a success in Japan, its terraced south facade utilized by many in the area for exercise and rest, affording views of the city and the harbor beyond. Unfortunately it has received little press overseas, especially in the United States.
Found Here: http://www.metaefficient.com/architecture-and-building/amazing-green-building-the-acros-fukuoka.html
Friday, June 26, 2009
Andrew Newell Wyeth (surname pronounced /ˈwаɪɛθ/) (July 12, 1917 – January 16, 2009) was a visual artist, primarily a realist painter, working predominantly in a regionalistU.S. artists of the middle 20th century and was sometimes referred to as the "Painter of the People," due to his work's popularity with the American public. style. He was one of the best-known
Wyeth's art has long been controversial. As a representational artist, Wyeth's paintings have sharply contrasted with abstraction, which gained currency in American art in the middle of the 20th century.
Museum exhibitions of Wyeth's paintings have set attendance records, but many art critics have been critical of his work. Peter Schjeldahl, art critic for The Village Voice, derided his paintings as "Formulaic stuff, not very effective even as illustrational 'realism.' " Common criticisms are that Wyeth's art verges on illustration and that his rural subject matter is sentimental.
Admirers of Wyeth's art believe that his paintings, in addition to sometimes displaying overt beauty, contain strong emotional currents, symbolic content, and underlying abstraction. Most observers of his art agree that he is skilled at handling the media of egg tempera (which uses egg yolk as its medium) and watercolor. Wyeth avoided using traditional oil paints. His use of light and shadow let the subjects illuminate the canvas. His paintings and titles suggest sound, as is implied in many paintings, including Distant Thunder (1961) and Spring Fed (1967).
A close friend and student of Wyeth, Bo Bartlett, commented on Wyeth’s reaction to criticism during an interview with Brian Sherwin in 2008: "People only make you swerve. I won’t show anybody anything I’m working on. If they hate it, it’s a bad thing, and if they like it, it’s a bad thing. An artist has to be ingrown to be any good."
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Earth’s oldest fossils are the stromatolites consisting of rock built from layer upon layer of sediment and other precipitants. Based on studies of now-rare (but living) stromatolites (specifically, certain blue-green bacteria), the growth of fossil stromatolitic structures was biogenetically mediated by mats of microorganisms through their entrapment of sediments. However, abiotic mechanisms for stromatolitic growth are also known, leading to a decades-long and sometimes-contentious scientific debate regarding biogenesis of certain formations, especially those from the lower to middle Archaean eon.
It is most widely accepted that stromatolites from the late Archaean and through the middle Proterozoic eon were mostly formed by massive colonies of cyanobacteria (formerly known as blue-green "algae"), and that the oxygen byproduct of their photosynthetic metabolism first resulted in earth’s massive banded iron formations and subsequently oxygenated earth’s atmosphere.
Even though it is extremely rare, microstructures resembling cells are sometimes found within stromatolites; but these are also the source of scientific contention. The Gunflint Chert contains abundant microfossils widely accepted as a diverse consortium of 2.0 Ga microbes.
In contrast, putative fossil cyanobacteria cells from the 3.4 Ga Warrawoona Group in Western Australia are in dispute since abiotic processes cannot be ruled out. Confirmation of the Warrawoona microstructures as cyanobacteria would profoundly impact our understanding of when and how early life diversified, pushing important evolutionary milestones further back in time (reference). The continued study of these oldest fossils is paramount to calibrate complementary molecular phylogenetics models.
Cyanobacteria Relationship to Earth's History
The biochemical capacity to use water as the source for electrons in photosynthesis evolved once, in a common ancestor of extant cyanobacteria. The geologic record indicates that this transforming event took place early in our planet's history, at least 2450-2320 million years ago (mya), and probably much earlier. Geobiological interpretation of Archean (>2500 mya) sedimentary rocks remains a challenge; available evidence indicates that life existed 3500 mya, but the question of when oxygenic photosynthesis evolved continues to engender debate and research. A clear paleontological window on cyanobacterial evolution opened about 2000 mya, revealing an already diverse biota of blue-greens. Cyanobacteria remained principal primary producers throughout the Proterozoic Eon (2500-543 mya), in part because the redox structure of the oceans favored photautotrophs capable of nitrogen fixation. Green algae joined blue-greens as major primary producers on continental shelves near the end of the Proterozoic, but only with the Mesozoic (251-65 mya) radiations of dinoflagellates, coccolithophorids, and diatoms did primary production in marine shelf waters take modern form. The most common cyanobacterial structures in the fossil record include stromatolites and oncolites. Cyanobacteria remain critical to marine ecosystems as primary producers in oceanic gyres, as agents of biological nitrogen fixation, and, in modified form, as the plastids of marine algae.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
The Voyager Golden Record is a phonograph record included in the two Voyager spacecraftextraterrestrial life form, or far future humans, that may find it. The Voyager spacecrafts are not heading towards any particular star, but in about 40,000 years Voyager 1 will be within 1.6 light years of the star AC+79 3888 in the Ophiuchus constellation. launched in 1977. It contains sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth. It is intended for any intelligent
As the probes are extremely small compared to the vastness of interstellar space, it is extraordinarily unlikely that they will ever be accidentally encountered. If they are ever found by an alien species, it will most likely be far in the future, and thus the record is best seen as a time capsule or a symbolic statement rather than an attempt to communicate with extraterrestrial life.
Found Here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyager_Golden_Record
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Having no new models to reveal at the 1980 Paris Salon, Citroën stylist Trevor Fiore was given the go ahead to build a model (not a driveable car) for display.
The result was the trapezoidal Karin, clearly inspired by Michel Harmand's design for a GS Coupé.
A three seater with the driver being seated centrally and ahead of the two passengers, this layout pre-empted that of the McLaren F1 of 1992.
Headlamp treatment was reminiscent of that of the SM.
The Citroën Karin was never more than a non-drivable model, but what a wonderful wedge it was. The center-mounted steering pod is especially appealing, with its amphitheater HUD surrounded by giant Walkmen-like buttons.
Found Here: http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2009/04/28/photo-citroen-karin.html